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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Ringu (1998)

(aka: Ring)



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Second and definitive filmed version of the story, Ringu is a deceptively simple chiller that plays on our fears of the unknown and unexplained. The American remake raised the bar on the spook factor -- it's the spookiest film I've seen in a long time -- but the narrative kept getting in the way of itself, and it only really works on a visceral level. Ringu is almost as creepy and holds together better as a work of storytelling. Unlike many modern horror films, it does not seek to shock us with sudden violence or gore but rather to scare us with a terrifying atmosphere. There is no waste here: the film is succinct, straightforward, and cuts deep.

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